As the coronavirus shutdowns crashed much of the consumer economy in March, orders for new homes likewise have plunged.
Current homeowners account for a substantial share of the market for new homes as they "move up" or look for second homes. But many of them are struggling. At the start of April, 25% of homeowners did not make their current mortgage payment, according to a survey by Apartment List, a source of housing listings, data and analysis. More than 30% of homeowners at the start of May did not make their monthly payment, the survey concluded.
Still, not all the news is bad. Some homebuyers have begun to flow back into the market, Marshall said.
New net orders went from about 140 homes a week in the last week of March to nearly 400 homes at the end of April, he said. “After an initial significant contraction in housing demand, recent sales trends have been more encouraging.”
Pulte's top executives and members of its board of directors have agreed to temporarily take pay cuts, according to the company. The money they will forgo will be directed to Pulte's employee assistance fund, and some of that help will be available to any workers furloughed or released as part of the cost cutting.
The company will take a $10 million charge in the current quarter as the result of “severance and related expenses,” according to a statement.